Cheeks

When did fish cheeks become a trendy foodie item? Met Market has these things priced right up there, not as scraps that they are trying to shove out the door. Granted, these sea bass cheeks came a long way — from the Falkland Islands. They are certified international cheeks.

People react to all kinds of things about food: texture, color. While working out I saw an ad for IHop green pancakes. They didn’t remind me so much of Dr. Seuss as they did PlayDoh. Sara had seal meat in Iceland, and said it’s oily and most unpleasant in the mouth. I have a friend who won’t eat small game birds, like quail, because she says the little bird body splayed out on her plate makes her feel guilty in a way that a slab of turkey breast doesn’t.

Along those lines, cheeks are not for me. I have no doubt that are as tasty as any other muscular part of fish or animal body. I had dinner with a friend who ordered pork cheeks, and was willing to give me a taste. I demurred.

What it is about cheeks that make me recoil? Maybe I think of Hannibal Lector, gnawing on a victim’s face. Whatever it is, there will be no cheeks served from my kitchen — on special or not.

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